Anglicans slam Madonna's crucifixion
The Church of England hit out at US pop diva Madonna on Monday for her "offending" appearance on a cross wearing a crown of thorns on the opening night of her new world tour.
The 47-year-old singer, no stranger to sparking Christian fury, launched her new stage show Confessions in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Madonna, who lives in southern England with her film director husband Guy Ritchie, appeared on a 20-foot (six-metre) high mirrored cross to sing the ballad "Live to Tell" while video screens showed images of world poverty.
"Is Madonna prepared to take on everything else that goes with wearing a crown of thorns?" asked a Church of England spokesman.
"And why would someone with so much talent seem to feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?"
David Muir of the Evangelical Alliance, a London-based charitable organisation, said: "It is downright offensive. Madonna's use of Christian imagery is an abuse and it is dangerous.
"The Christian reaction to this sort of thing tends to be tempered but if the same thing was done with the imagery or iconography of other faiths the reaction would be very different," he told London's Evening Standard newspaper.